Summer blockbusters of years gone by:
Super 8 – (2011)
This movie is a cross between Stand By Me, and E.T. with a bit of Cloverfield thrown in for some intense action. It is just what you would expect from a collaboration between JJ Abrams (writer/director) and Steven Spielberg (producer). It has all the makings (and perhaps the pitfalls) of a ‘summer blockbuster’ hit – tense moments, high action, laughs, drama, and over-the-top special FX. At the center of the story is a group of young kids trying to make an amateur film for a film contest. I completely identified with this group of youngsters struggling for accomplishment and battling the forces that be to get it done. The young cast was considerably talented playing each of their characters to believability. Sneaking out of the house late one night to film a scene, the youngsters witness a terrible train wreck. Upon closer examination it is clear that something alive and quite unusual has escaped from one of the train cars. The military soon quarantines the small town as they prepare to hunt down the enemy life form. Some viewers had questions and negative comments about the alien and its motives. I think they were perhaps expecting a Riddley Scott ‘Alien’ type of movie. This alien is more like the one in ‘It Came From Outer Space’ where its only concern is to procure the materials it needs to get home. In fact, the film seems to intentionally mirror a throw-back to older sci-fi films. Like all ‘fantastic story’ films, if you look too close you will find imperfections, that’s just the nature of the beast. In the end, this movie was really about a group of kids forced to grow up very quickly when faced with a serious situation. Make sure you sit through the end credits to see the completed ‘Super-8 film’ submission – an amateur zombie film.
One of my favorites of 2011, even though some didn’t feel the same way as me. I think it does take a lot away from Spielberg, but rather than just being a total carbon-copy, Abrams still graphs out his own story, with real emotions, and real characters worth caring about and watching. Good review.
Finally, someone that liked this film as much as I did 🙂
Your reviews always make me want to see movies I’ve already seen again.
Lol, I’ve always said, I’m not a movie critic, I’m a movie fan. I usually find the best aspects of a movie and write about them 🙂
Nice review, Michael. I couldn’t get into “Super 8” unfortunately. You’d think a guy like me would be all over this one but I just disliked it. Too bad, too. I really wanted to dig it. But like you said you find the best aspects of movies and expound upon them. That’s why I like your reviews. Keep it up!
I thought this was a fun watch in a Goonies sort of way.
Goonies is a good comparison, too!